Things That Might Kill Your Productivity Without You Knowing

Solve your problems with unproductiveness by treating the cause and not the symptoms.
Sunny Gonzales
Reading time: 9 minutes.

productive woman working on her laptop

You’ve probably followed many productivity tips and beat distractions — but how come they don’t work for you? What seems to be the problem?

We all love the feeling of striking out our checklists at the end of the day. That’s why we do our best to work smarter which might help us improve our work efficiency.

The thing is, these tips wouldn’t be as effective if you haven’t solved the root cause of your unproductiveness. Without analyzing and solving the root cause of the problem, it’ll occur over and over again.

We understand that identifying the cause of your unproductiveness is a challenge, so we list the things that might kill your productivity without you knowing!

Read more: 10 Ways To Work Smarter, Not Harder

productivity goals

1. You use too many productivity apps

While using productivity tools are good and is proven effective by some, that doesn’t mean you have to use every tool you see online. Using too many productivity apps can get you overwhelmed, along with tons of task and message notifications that keep you from being focused. Additionally, it might take time to learn all the tools you want to use instead of going on with your designated tasks, thus, killing your productivity.

Make sure you narrow your list of tools to the essential ones—communication channels, timers, and project management apps. Always remember that LESS is MORE.Read more: What Are The Tech Tools I Can Use To Improve My Productivity in 2022?

2. You use overcomplicated productivity apps

Overcomplicated tools can kill your productivity too. Considering the time you take to navigate the tool’s interface and get familiar with using the best of those tools, your productivity is surely in trouble. Try using tools you can easily learn and navigate to save time and energy. At the end of the day, the purpose of using tools is to make our lives easier.

Pro Tip: Online forms help you quickly collect data online, therefore, increasing your productivity. To convert your PDF forms to online forms, you can try PlatoForms. PlatoForms is an online PDF tool with a simple interface that’ll help you quickly turn your PDF forms into web forms.

3. You don’t delegate tasks

You’re not superhuman, and keeping your plate full is not always ideal. One thing that keeps your productivity at risk is when you don’t ask for help and delegate small tasks.


Piled-up tasks increase stress and pressure stealing your focus away. It also makes the chances of burnout high, making it more impossible to be productive. With that said, delegating tasks within your team and focusing on more important tasks is recommended.

4. You don’t automate tasks

The best way to kill your productivity is by not taking advantage of the automation tools available today. Automation allows you to focus on the most important tasks by handling those little tedious tasks for you, canceling burnout and increasing your productivity.

ProTip: You can automate data entry tasks with PlatoForms Online PDF Tool and Zapier integration. Through this partnership, you can connect your cloud drives and other data operating tools and make them work for you.

5. You don’t measure your results

Doing those productivity tips isn’t enough. You have to track results as well! It’ll help you identify what was effective and what was not for your business. As a result, you can focus more on what really works for you.

6. You’re obsessed with perfection

It might sound cliché to you, but still, nobody’s perfect. At some point, we need to fail to learn and succeed. Productivity isn’t always about perfection. It’s also about trying your best and allowing yourself to learn through the process. In fact, trying so hard to achieve perfection might kill your time for other things that matter.

7. Setting unrealistic goals

Setting a goal is essential for anyone who wants to be productive. It gives us a sense of direction and helps us determine our next steps toward our tasks. However, not all goals set are helpful in our productivity. There are times when we set goals that are too high and too impossible to achieve. These goals often result in burnout which causes unproductiveness. Make sure you set specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely goals.

8. Not saying NO

Yes, your goal is to be productive, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be a productive robot taking all the tasks and projects you think you can handle. We all have our physical capacity, and it’ll harm our health and our productivity if we say “yes” to everything.

9. You spend too much time in meetings

Another main cause you can’t focus on working is because you spend too much time attending meetings. If you’re still fond of having daily and emergency meetings, it’s time to change how you think about it. All meetings should be scheduled, and meeting details should be prepared to avoid wasted time and unnecessary topics. This way, you and your team can focus more on what needs to be done.

10. You’re not taking breaks

What can happen if you didn’t take a break?

  • You can become irritable and more anxious.
  • It’ll be hard for you to be creative.
  • You can get eye strain, and body fatigue, and you’ll feel drained.

All these things can cause you to be more unproductive, therefore making it essential for you to take a break. Taking a break will help you refresh your mind and gather new ideas you can use for your task, so go ahead and take a break.

11. Lack of sleep

Sleep has an important role in your brain’s thinking and learning capacity. If you don’t get the right amount of sleep that your body needs, your brain’s cognitive processes can suffer. Lack of sleep can cause you to be inattentive, lose focus, and even make it hard for you to make decisions. Instead of suppressing your sleep to be productive, try the other way around.

12. Worrying too much

Worrying is a normal response when you’re under stress or pressure. However, it can lead to severe problems like unproductiveness if you can’t handle it right. Worrying too much steals your focus, making it hard for you to do your tasks.

Instead of overthinking about your tasks and deadlines, get a pen and paper and list them. Monitor your progress using the list so that you can focus more on things that matter.

13. Comparing yourself with others

Comparing your productivity with others is a total waste of time. It’ll not help you finish your tasks nor give you creative juices, so it’s time to stop it. The only person you should compare yourself to is your past self alone. Check your progress without comparing it with others. Do your best and be kind to yourself. It’ll allow you to relax, refresh your mind and be more motivated to achieve your goals.

14. Spending too much time on social media

Though social media helps us connect with our friends and loved ones, it’s still one of the reasons why most of us are unproductive today. Be watchful of these negative effects:

  • Information overload- we often scroll without limits till our brains are loaded with too much information we don’t even need.
  • Exposure to addictive games can steal our precious time.
  • Unmonitored time spent on scrolling. Sometimes, we tend to be careless with our time while scrolling through social media channels and end up not doing things that matter to us.

To avoid this, we recommend allocating time for social media between doing your tasks.

15. Overanalyzing things

Same with perfectionism, overanalyzing your tasks and projects can cause unproductiveness. When you don’t stop finding fault in what you do, you’ll end up working on it repeatedly until you need more time for other tasks.

During these times, you could be your worst critic. With that said, you’ll always find fault in your outputs and end up not moving on with your task. It would be better if you try seeking the feedback of your colleagues and teammates instead.

16. You don’t set deadlines

If you want to be productive, you shouldn’t underestimate the power of deadlines. Deadlines, if handled correctly, will help you achieve goals in time. They allow you to set expectations for yourself. It’ll also push you to move forward and finish your tasks quickly.

17. Sitting most of the time

You might take it for granted, but your productivity can also suffer when you’re not physically active. It steals your creativity and energy levels, which you need to be more productive. Aside from affecting your physical health, it can also harm your mental health.

If you want to boost your productivity, start doing physical tasks or small exercises.

18. Skipping meals

Do you skip meals to keep up with your tasks and be productive?

Well, that’s one of the big mistakes you’re making. Skipping meals will only worsen your productivity. You need to eat properly to gain energy and think faster, which contributes greatly to your productivity.

19. Working in poorly lit areas

Lighting affects mood and energy, essential factors that can affect one’s productivity. Working with proper lighting helps you get in the mood for working. It also helps you avoid eye strain and work errors. According to a study by the American Society of Interior Design, 68% of employees don’t like the lighting in their offices because it gives them eye strain that causes headaches.

To improve your productivity, avoid working in areas with poor lighting such as follows:

  • Fluorescent light
  • Dark rooms
  • Insufficient lighting
  • Rooms with many shadows
  • Overly bright light
  • Artificial light
  • Flickering lights

20. Missing your morning routine

Simply missing your morning routine can cause you to be less productive and focused. Research led by Shawn McClean (a professor in the Department of Management and Marketing at the UW College of Business) states that simply missing one’s regular cup of coffee in the morning can cause employees to be mentally exhausted, so don’t take your routine for granted and try your best not skip it.

Indeed, there are lots of factors that can affect your productivity. There are lots of things to work on, but don’t get pressured. Just do your best, do not compare, and try to identify the root cause of your unproductiveness before following the productivity tips you find online.

Be more productive with PlatoForms

With the help of the right tool like PlatoForms, you can keep yourself focused and productive. PlatoForms helps you quickly turn your PDF files into online forms and even connect them with other tools through Zapier automation. Boost your productivity now and try PlatoForms. Sign up here.

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